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The Dublin Coach Experience

  • 23-07-2017 7:39am
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 168 ✭✭ Matthew Gleeson


    I use them 5 days a week to get to work and very much appreciate the service but have to ask if others out there are having some of the same issues with them that I am. Buses seem to break down, routes are cancelled and or severely delayed on a near daily occurrence.

    One look on trip advisor shows people have experienced similar. The drivers are sound but one or two seem to run on a different clock to the rest of them so it's not uncommon to be either left waiting an hour or running for a bus thats pulling away 15 minutes early!

    Would love to know your Dublin Coach stories, cause I have plenty. :D


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Comments

  • Moderators, Regional South Moderators Posts: 5,294 Mod ✭✭✭✭ Quackster


    I use them 5 days a week to get to work and very much appreciate the service but have to ask if others out there are having some of the same issues with them that I am. Buses seem to break down, routes are cancelled and or severely delayed on a near daily occurrence.

    One look on trip advisor shows people have experienced similar. The drivers are sound but one or two seem to run on a different clock to the rest of them so it's not uncommon to be either left waiting an hour or running for a bus thats pulling away 15 minutes early!

    Would love to know your Dublin Coach stories, cause I have plenty. :D

    My infrequent use of the Dublin/Tralee service would bear that out. The timetable is completely fantastical and the last time I traveled with them, the old clapped-out coach overheated and the mortified driver had to stop at a house and ask for a fill of water to get it going again.

    They are nothing but a very last option for me.


  • Registered Users Posts: 45,433 ✭✭✭✭ thomond2006


    I've used them on Limerick-Dublin many times, most of the time there's no issue. It's a lot better getting on/off since they terminate at Bachelor's Walk and restart from Burgh Quay. I did give up on taking buses on Friday evenings due to full buses though.


  • Registered Users Posts: 627 ✭✭✭ JeffK88


    Fairly regular user for work in the Airport. Pretty much the same experience as yourself. Most of the time it runs fine but the breakdowns do get annoying especially the middle of the night ones for night shifts.The overcrowding is becoming a problem too especially between newbridge and naas. I usual take the coach 2 hours before work start on the daytime buses just to be safe. As for stories where do I begin. Its mainly the other passengers that use the service who provide the most entertainment for me. For example a lady today with luggage got on the bus and the driver said to her that she could leave her luggage at the front of the bus because she was getting off at the next stop so she decides to sit on her suit case at the door of the bus creating her own seat :D. I could tell you hundreds of stories


  • Registered Users Posts: 168 ✭✭ Matthew Gleeson


    Quackster wrote: »
    My infrequent use of the Dublin/Tralee service would bear that out. The timetable is completely fantastical and the last time I traveled with them, the old clapped-out coach overheated and the mortified driver had to stop at a house and ask for a fill of water to get it going again.

    They are nothing but a very last option for me.

    That's a Dublin coach experience :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 168 ✭✭ Matthew Gleeson


    JeffK88 wrote: »
    Fairly regular user for work in the Airport. Pretty much the same experience as yourself. Most of the time it runs fine but the breakdowns do get annoying especially the middle of the night ones for night shifts.The overcrowding is becoming a problem too especially between newbridge and naas. I usual take the coach 2 hours before work start on the daytime buses just to be safe. As for stories where do I begin. Its mainly the other passengers that use the service who provide the most entertainment for me. For example a lady today with luggage got on the bus and the driver said to her that she could leave her luggage at the front of the bus because she was getting off at the next stop so she decides to sit on her suit case at the door of the bus creating her own seat :D. I could tell you hundreds of stories

    Brilliant! Have seen similar. Recently a guy had a full shouting match at the driver cause he said he fell getting off the bus. He was just looking for a claim, and he ran away when the gards came and got on a bus back in the opposite direction :D I felt so bad for the driver. We were also 30 minutes late before this


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  • Registered Users Posts: 18,459 ✭✭✭✭ road_high


    Pretty poor shabby buses, given a lick of paint to cover the cracks.
    Follow them on Facebook and almost every single post relates to late buses, constantly.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,199 boardsuser1


    Most of the old buses are bought from Aircoach, the Setra's anyway.

    Ironically Aircoach was set up by the Dublin Coach owner John O'Sullivan.

    The personnel manager isn't great either.

    I went for an interview with them and fcuked up.

    Turned out to be a blessing in disguise.


  • Registered Users Posts: 168 ✭✭ Matthew Gleeson


    Most of the old buses are bought from Aircoach, the Setra's anyway.

    Ironically Aircoach was set up by the Dublin Coach owner John O'Sullivan.

    The personnel manager isn't great either.

    I went for an interview with them and fcuked up.

    Turned out to be a blessing in disguise.

    Interesting one! I thought some of them looked like old air coaches. The last few I've been on used to be for airport car parks and don't seem to be great for 45 minute journey.


  • Registered Users Posts: 389 ✭✭ Panjandrums


    This post has been deleted.


  • Registered Users Posts: 2,534 ✭✭✭ howiya


    I've reason to go Belfast next weekend. i should take aircoach or the train based on these reports?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 12,417 ✭✭✭✭ Losty Dublin


    howiya wrote: »
    I've reason to go Belfast next weekend. i should take aircoach or the train based on these reports?

    Bus is more frequent and cheaper. The train is dearer but you'll probably have a better and more comfortable experience. And the on board breakfast is pretty good.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 21 ✭✭✭ NoFace


    I use Dublin Coach frequently to get to Dungarvan, Waterford, however it always takes an hour longer than timetabled to get there. They're still quicker than any other service to get down there though, so I'll be sticking with them until a better option comes along.
    The driver kicked some people off the bus last time I used it cos the bus was full and there were people waiting who had booked tickets online (who get priority) - it left people stranded, waiting for the next one in 2 hours time, in a place they didn't board the bus, it was ridiculous! I reckon I'll be booking all my future trips online to avoid this ever happening now


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,199 boardsuser1


    NoFace wrote: »
    I use Dublin Coach frequently to get to Dungarvan, Waterford, however it always takes an hour longer than timetabled to get there. They're still quicker than any other service to get down there though, so I'll be sticking with them until a better option comes along.
    The driver kicked some people off the bus last time I used it cos the bus was full and there were people waiting who had booked tickets online (who get priority) - it left people stranded, waiting for the next one in 2 hours time, in a place they didn't board the bus, it was ridiculous! I reckon I'll be booking all my future trips online to avoid this ever happening now

    Is that even legal?


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,606 schemingbohemia


    JeffK88 wrote: »
    Fairly regular user for work in the Airport. Pretty much the same experience as yourself. Most of the time it runs fine but the breakdowns do get annoying especially the middle of the night ones for night shifts.The overcrowding is becoming a problem too especially between newbridge and naas. I usual take the coach 2 hours before work start on the daytime buses just to be safe. As for stories where do I begin. Its mainly the other passengers that use the service who provide the most entertainment for me. For example a lady today with luggage got on the bus and the driver said to her that she could leave her luggage at the front of the bus because she was getting off at the next stop so she decides to sit on her suit case at the door of the bus creating her own seat :D. I could tell you hundreds of stories

    Are people standing? That's illegal on those buses as far as i'm aware.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,199 boardsuser1


    Are people standing? That's illegal on those buses as far as i'm aware.

    When i was driving the Aircoach if someone had no seat they had to get back off the coach.

    Anything bus or coach with standing passengers can do no more than 65 km/h, roughly 40mph.

    I've never seen anyone standing on a coach journey, no doubt it has happened somewhere in the country though.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,199 boardsuser1


    Interesting one! I thought some of them looked like old air coaches. The last few I've been on used to be for airport car parks and don't seem to be great for 45 minute journey.

    Those old Setra's are shot to pieces.

    Constantly breaking down.

    When Aircoach sold them there was in excess of 2-3 million km's on each of them.

    One's man's sh1te is another man's gold.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 11,285 Mod ✭✭✭✭ devnull


    They also recently without any notice cancelled one of their routes for a day.
    https://www.facebook.com/DublinCoach/posts/1426226450792658

    Most of their problems seem to stem from tight turn-around times at terminuses and also the fact they have a pretty old fleet, for example I believe they have over 22 Setras between 12-13 years old, most of which are ex Aircoach and over 10 Neoplan deckers from 2004 which were ex Oxford Tube which are the mainstays of their fleet and all would have had very hard lives with their previous operators.

    The Belfast route does have new coaches on it but it's very much the exception than the rule. That said, they are said to be on the market for some additional second hand coaches that may be 3-4 years younger than the Setra/Neoplans so maybe they will replace them.


  • Registered Users Posts: 5,245 ✭✭✭ myshirt


    They have been buying them new at North of 300 a piece in the last 3 years, they don't get them from Air Coach. They bought 3 Chinese buses aswell, which was a disaster.

    The demand has went through the roof, and their license limits them with putting on extra buses. I like this crowd, they fight a good fight for the consumer despite all the giving out that Bus Eireann and Irish Rail went on with. Don't we all remember 70 quid return to Dublin to finance the lump sums and big pensions to these people.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,199 boardsuser1


    devnull wrote: »
    They also recently without any notice cancelled one of their routes for a day.
    https://www.facebook.com/DublinCoach/posts/1426226450792658

    Most of their problems seem to stem from tight turn-around times at terminuses and also the fact they have a pretty old fleet, for example I believe they have over 22 Setras between 12-13 years old, most of which are ex Aircoach and over 10 Neoplan deckers from 2004 which were ex Oxford Tube which are the mainstays of their fleet and all would have had very hard lives with their previous operators.

    The Belfast route does have new coaches on it but it's very much the exception than the rule. That said, they are said to be on the market for some additional second hand coaches that may be 3-4 years younger than the Setra/Neoplans so maybe they will replace them.
    I know the Neoplan overdeckers, the 2004 ones are ex Stagecoach.

    Some heaps of rubbish they have though.

    As for the drivers, you see how poor the service is.

    When i was interviewed for the job the money was €115 per day before tax, regardless of the hours worked.


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,683 ✭✭✭✭ punisher5112


    The vehicles they have are in shocking disrepair.

    In the last week I've seen a plastic bag holding an outer side panel on, luggage doors sticking out, rear engine covers fully open and 2 with bunjy straps holding them closed.

    They leave them running no matter how early they are at the terminus with extremely bad fumes spewing out and just the green looks like snot.

    I understand they have got some new vehicles but they are looking a bit shabby also.

    I see many with lights not working also.


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  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 11,285 Mod ✭✭✭✭ devnull


    myshirt wrote: »
    They have been buying them new at North of 300 a piece in the last 3 years, they don't get them from Air Coach.

    Most of their fleet is made up of 2004 vehicles that are ex Aircoach and Oxford Tube, they have approx 30 vehicles fitting that description at the last check on RTOL.ie which lists all the vehicles an operator has licensed.

    They have acquired approx 15 new vehicles for their scheduled services in the last 3-4 years that I grant you, but 5 of them are locked religiously on Belfast, which leaves 10 for the other routes out of a total of what is about something like 60 coaches, half of which date back from around 13 years ago or so.
    The demand has went through the roof, and their license limits them with putting on extra buses. I like this crowd, they fight a good fight for the consumer despite all the giving out that Bus Eireann and Irish Rail went on with.

    Nobody denies that competition is good, I think the issue is that punctuality, service reliability and on-board experience is also important, personally I feel they have expanded too much too soon, they're essentially using money saved from acquiring vehicles on the second hand market to fund further expansion.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 11,285 Mod ✭✭✭✭ devnull


    I know the Neoplan overdeckers, the 2004 ones are ex Stagecoach.

    I know some were ex Oxford Tube, but some of the others may have been from other parts of Stagecoach as well, good vehicles in their time certainly, but can't imagine they had easy life, same with Aircoach Setras, an operator like Aircoach that runs 24 hours a day 364 days year with the same timetable every day is always going to work their vehicles hard.
    When i was interviewed for the job the money was €115 per day before tax, regardless of the hours worked.

    Out of curiosity, how does that compare with other operators? And surely there has to be a limit to hours worked, or it has to average to a certain amount?

    Would this explain the tight turn-around times at a terminus? Basically if a driver is late it costs them no more in wages?


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,199 boardsuser1


    devnull wrote: »
    I know some were ex Oxford Tube, but some of the others may have been from other parts of Stagecoach as well, good vehicles in their time certainly, but can't imagine they had easy life, same with Aircoach Setras, an operator like Aircoach that runs 24 hours a day 364 days year with the same timetable every day is always going to work their vehicles hard.



    Out of curiosity, how does that compare with other operators? And surely there has to be a limit to hours worked, or it has to average to a certain amount?

    Would this explain the tight turn-around times at a terminus? Basically if a driver is late it costs them no more in wages?

    Yes it costs them nothing extra in wages even if the driver is late.

    When i drove the Aircoach i was on €140 per day, my day was never longer than 9 hours.

    3 hours up,2 hour break, 3 hours back and 1 hour cleaning and refuelling the coach.

    In relation to hours worked, there is a set limit of 90 per fortnight, however any truck or bus with a tachograph before May 2006 use Analogue (paper sheets) tachographs, which you could realistically tear up.

    After May 2006 you need a digi card and the only way to stop that is an illegal method i won't publicly repeat.

    Lets just say if you are caught doing that method you will be arrested.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators, Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 21,069 Mod ✭✭✭✭ bk


    When i was driving the Aircoach if someone had no seat they had to get back off the coach.

    Anything bus or coach with standing passengers can do no more than 65 km/h, roughly 40mph.

    I've never seen anyone standing on a coach journey, no doubt it has happened somewhere in the country though.

    I've stood on a coach (and probably 30 other people on the same coach), St Kevins service to Glendalough, though I expect they kept speed under 65.

    Never seen it intercity.

    As others have said Dublin Coaches fleet age is very unbalanced. They do have some new, modern, coaches, but they are mostly on the new Belfast route.

    The majority of the fleet is quite old now, mostly second hand coaches from Aircoach and other parts of Stagecoach in the UK. Would have massive amounts of mileage on them already and likely nearing their end of life, at least on such high frequency services, which is probably why people are seeing so many break downs.

    There is a reason why Aircoach and other coach companies sell on these coaches and try to keep a relatively young fleet. As they get older, they suffer more breakdowns and take a lot more effort and cost to maintain and keep running.

    Dublin Coach seems to have a habit of buying second hand coaches that are already almost done and then running them into the ground for 3 or 4 years and then rinse and repeat. Obviously much cheaper then buying new. But bad for the customers due to more breakdowns and less reliability.

    But then they have little competition on their core Limerick corridor. So they get away with it. Notice how they have the new coaches on the Belfast route where they face lots of competition from Aircoach, BE/Ulsterbus, etc.


  • Registered Users Posts: 24,683 ✭✭✭✭ punisher5112


    John O'Sullivan was an employee at bus eireann and then started Aircoach and of course now Dublin coach....

    He had leased all the setras years ago but has gone down the road of probably picking them up for buttons.

    Seams to do the start up get routes and sell off for big money.

    Something in me says he will most likely do the same.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 6,199 boardsuser1


    John O'Sullivan was an employee at bus eireann and then started Aircoach and of course now Dublin coach....

    He had leased all the setras years ago but has gone down the road of probably picking them up for buttons.

    Seams to do the start up get routes and sell off for big money.

    Something in me says he will most likely do the same.

    http://www.independent.ie/regionals/kerryman/dublin-bus-service-to-create-20-jobs-31495678.html

    They are crying out for drivers on a regular basis, John hasn't repeated the magic of Aircoach.

    https://www.jobs.ie/ApplyForJob.aspx?Id=1634808


  • Registered Users Posts: 627 ✭✭✭ JeffK88


    Are people standing? That's illegal on those buses as far as i'm aware.

    For the most part, no people are not standing if they are its between stops in either Naas or Newbridge. Normally some drivers will only take Red Cow & Airport passengers on the Airport Coach and ask others for Naas to take the shuttle which is a few mins behind the Airport bus.They have introduced a shuttle between Kildare and Naas which has helped with this but it only operates between 0830 and 2030 so buses before the 830 especially tend to get crowded looking at you 0520 bus.


  • Moderators, Motoring & Transport Moderators Posts: 11,285 Mod ✭✭✭✭ devnull


    JeffK88 wrote: »
    hey have introduced a shuttle between Kildare and Naas which has helped with this but it only operates between 0830 and 2030 so buses before the 830 especially tend to get crowded looking at you 0520 bus.

    This service has been cancelled for the whole day twice without any sufficient notice to passengers in the last month or so, which in my opinion is not acceptable, it's good that they provided this extra capacity, but at the same time passengers need to be able to rely on it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 627 ✭✭✭ JeffK88


    devnull wrote: »
    This service has been cancelled for the whole day twice without any sufficient notice to passengers in the last month or so, which in my opinion is not acceptable, it's good that they provided this extra capacity, but at the same time passengers need to be able to rely on it.

    Ive noticed this too. Reliability is needed which at present is not there. When working nights last week two 0130 Portlaoise to Airport services failed to show up. Now I know at these times not many be using the service but I was a huge inconvenience. Thankfully ( which ive noticed more so lately ) they had a replacement bus on the road a good few min later than the scheduled service run the route and manage to.get to the airport with a 20min delay overall. But by right there should be a reliable service. Overall ive only had a handful of problems in the 7 months of using various services daily and have cut my overall costs of commuting to work vastly. I welcome more 24 hour services and ryanair model coach services because seeing how crowded the early morning services get shows there is demand for these 24 hour services on some transport corridors. Dublin Coach will hopefully encourage other companies and follow suit.


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  • Moderators, Category Moderators, Education Moderators Posts: 26,715 CMod ✭✭✭✭ spurious


    I steer well clear of them on the motorways. Have lost count the number of near misses I have seen their drivers in. They always seem to be in a terrible hurry.


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